Analyzing the Chef

A master chef is always learning.  He’s constantly looking back to see where he can improve.  At the end of a chef’s career he’s picked up skills only attainable by a true iron chef.  It’s incredible to look back and see the progress of these chefs starting from day one to the end.

With the election decided I believe it’s time for this iron baker to step down.  And just as a last little farewell I’m going to take you back on this journey to see my highs and lows.

With the topic of unemployment being as broad as it is, I wasn’t sure where/how to start my blog.  The first few posts I looked at the details of both candidates.  And I continued to do this for a number of posts, it wasn’t until after my analysis post that I realized I had to change my focus, and look at the other aspects of unemployment, like unemployment benefits, the goals of the economy, and unemployment numbers, and see how they affected the election.  When I decided to use a single post to focus on an unemployment issue I started to feel my blog becoming more focused.  For example, a had a post specifically on investment plans for both candidates.  This allowed me to focus on the details of this one aspect, rather than trying to fit it in to a broad overview of the candidates’ stance.

I was able to do continue relating everything back to the election for a while, but after some time I found my self having writer’s block A LOT, mainly because I wasn’t confident in what I was trying to convey.  I wasn’t very knowledgeable about economics, and unemployment.  It wasn’t until I started to do more research that my confidence in my writing started to grow.  Initially I found my self reading an article, or biased campaign propaganda, and using that to make very broad assertions.  The problem was I didn’t have a method of double checking my sources because for the most part they were news articles, like the Huffington Post, or the New York Times.  But, that all changed when I found factcheck.org.  This fact checker allowed me to check all the claims that seemed iffy, so that I could write clearer, and not make as many assertions.  So, throughout this month I believe my biggest point of improvement came in stating ideas and supporting them with facts, rather than making broad assertions, which can be seen when we compare my pre-analysis posts and post-analysis posts.

If I were able to go back and change something I would try to keep my self from being influenced by political propaganda.  I feel like the glorious, and many times incorrect, language the candidates used to describe their plank influenced my writing greatly.

This project also helped me learn exactly what bias was, and how it applied to this writing style.  I learned that it is possible to take a stance on an issue and still be unbiased as long as everything stated is supported by facts.  I also learned that bias has more to do with being accurate in your descriptions, and being precise in your language.

I am very glad I did this project, because it helped me decide who to vote for.  After I did research and realized I didn’t know all the facts, and was actually thinking about voting for the wrong candidate.  So this project opened my eyes and influenced my vote greatly.

Overall I really liked keeping up with this blog.  And I learned a lot about how to write a blog, and how the American economy works, and for that I’m grateful!

This is the Iron Baker putting down the ladle for the last time, and wishing everyone good eats! 🙂

5 Star Recipes You Should Also Try Out!

Over this past month I’ve given you all the ingredients needed for my favorite dish, the recipe for economic success.  I hope that you took the information I provided and were able to make an educated decision when you voted.  Although, the economy wasn’t the only factor deciding people’s votes.  Topics such as education, healthcare, and same sex marriage, were key issues that voters used to help choose a candidate.

As the price of education has been rising, many have been in uproar over the increase in cost to use student loans.  These new prices are encouraging many students to drop out of school, or not consider a higher education.  It would be awful for the entire country if the number of educated students dropped sharply.  To read, and learn, more about all the education policies being considered I encourage you to read the blog, The Future of Higher Education – Election 2012, written by the mixedupmind.

Healthcare has been one of those iffy topics, because everyone’s opinions differ about it.  Some people love Obamacare, some people hate it.  Some like the privatized aspect, and some like the way medicare works.  There is one thing everyone can come to agree on though, and that is that the medicare process needs to be reformed.  Nothingbutmedicare, does a great job of consolidating a lot of different facts and evidence and synthesizing it in a way that’s easier to understand.  His blog is called 100% Medicare, 100% Confusing.

Same sex marriage in the past has always been one of those taboo topics.  But, our generation has been able to open our minds to the idea and encouraged it’s growth in our society.  Although, a lot of the younger generation approves of same sex marriage, activists still face a lot penetration to influence the creation of new laws, for a lot of different reasons.  One big reason, is that right now the country is split in deciding if a same sex couple would make viable parents.  Befuddlesme focuses on this topic in her blog befuddlesme.

Just because the election is over doesn’t mean these topics aren’t still important.  If you feel strongly about an issue you have plenty of options to try to convince congress to pass new legislation.

Required Ingredient #1: Compromise.

When we’re cooking a new dish there are a lot of factors that can dictate the outcome/result of your recipe.  Many times these variable factors are not in our control.  Things like oven temperature/power, or the strength of the spices you use, can determine how your culinary concoction tastes, but there’s not much you can do to control them.  

The same thing happens in our American government system with congressional gridlock, which we talked a little bit about in my implications post.  There’s only one way to surpass this gridlock, and that is compromise between the two parties.  

The president MUST show bipartisan support.  By expressing bipartisan support, or involving the opposite party in the creation of a new bill, the process to get the bill passed will not require as much time/effort.  

By supporting both parties the president can revitalize the economy much quicker.  If they are able to compromise then it will reduce the fight for power within the government, and allow them to take quicker action. 

If a president chooses not to work with both parties then the country will experience four years without much change.  Considering the current state of our economy, I don’t believe we can go through four years like this. Both candidates have acknowledged this and have said they will try to work with the other party.

Both, of their economic plans should work to stimulate the economy, but it’s important that they receive/obtain bipartisan support for quick implementation, and the most fruitfully beneficial actions for the economy.  

 

New Recipes! (Additional Readings)

  • Business Insider’s, Will Hickey, writes two separate articles going over both presidential candidates’ economic plans.  He uses great detail, in describing President Obama’s plan, with his sources all being from government websites.  Hickey elaborates on Governor Romney’s original 59-point plan that he wrote about on his party plank.  Will Hickey is able to consolidate all the big claims the candidates are making on the campaign trail, in a way that is easy to follow.
  • The Council on Foreign Relations started an “issue tracker” that focused on the economy.  The tracker was updated regularly, and kept track of many claims that were made on the campaign trail by both candidates.  They also looked at the history of both candidates (primarily President Obama) to see what they have done in the past, and how those decisions may shape future ones.  The authors of this issue tracker give a brief overview of actions the candidates had taken, for example President Obama’s jobs bill.  But, then they offer links to more detailed overviews of those topics.
  • Brad Tuttle is a writer for Time magazine, and also has his own blog.  He writes primarily on business and personal finance.  Personally, I find his work very thought provoking and filled with information.  He supports all of his claims with facts or other sources.  He also writes with a bit comedic tone, so it’s somewhat entertaining to read his posts.  One of my favorite articles by him is “For the Good of the Economy, You Should Spend Money you don’t Have”.
  • If you are interested to learn more about how education can effect the economy check out this link.
  • Check out more info on both candidates plans, and more details on Obama’s American Jobs Act here.
  • To see more up to date info on the actual unemployment numbers check out the BLS’s website.
  • There’s been a lot of talk about the Bush tax cuts, as they are set to expire this year.  If you want more information on them check out this link.
  • If you want to research some of the false claims that Mitt Romney made on the campaign trail check out this link.
  • Obama also made some false claims while running in this campaign, you can see the true facts on on this link.
  • If you are looking for a comedic way to summarize the election in 27 links, this link will be amazing! 🙂

What happens when you don’t follow the recipe? (Implications post)

No matter who wins this presidential election, there is a strong possibility that neither of them will be able to implement their economic plans, to its full extent.  This will happen because of congressional gridlock, which divides government and keeps change drastically slow.  President Obama has blamed this congressional gridlock for his inability to pass many bills he promised the American people, like his plan for immigration reform, and his inability to close Guantanamo bay.  Governor Romney understands this, and for that reason has repeatedly claimed he will work at a bipartisan level to construct and pass legislation, and he repeatedly uses Massachusetts as an example.  But, Ben Adler of the Nation magazine states, “looking at Romney’s record in Massachusetts one does not see bipartisanship as an operating principle. Rather than it is a tool he uses when it is convenient”.  Nonetheless, Governor Romney has convinced the American people that he is more likely to surpass government gridlock.  If both candidates will face congressional gridlock in office, what does the future hold for our economy if no action takes place within the next four years?

I believe that the national debt will sky rocket.  In President Bush’s two terms the national debt rose by around half a trillion dollars per year, whereas in President Obama’s one term the national debt rose by over a trillion dollars per year.  If no action is taken to fix the national budget, our debt will continue to rise exponentially. 

Another big issue will be a loss of more jobs.  As I’ve stated in other blog posts, Obama’s plan to put people back to work by reconstructing our infrastructure, is a great way to jumpstart our economy, and keep money circulating for the immediate future.  Romney has a similar plan, which is implemented by investing in the military.  If neither of these plans are acted upon, we may see ourselves in long period of high unemployment yet again.

Therefore, in this election it’s not only important to vote for your favorite presidential candidate, but also to vote for the congressional candidates that best supports your views.  Because divided government will halt our countries progress.

Theory for a new recipe

Sometimes when I’m cooking Italian food I can’t decide which herbs to use. “Should I use basil or oregano? Or should do something crazy and put cilantro?”It can get confusing in the kitchen sometimes, but when I am conflicted, I seem to always come to a compromise.  So, instead of picking a single herb, I like to put a bit of everything 🙂

There are a plethora of economic plans that have the possibility of fixing the economy, but the question no one can answer for sure is, which plan is the best?  As I’ve been stating in my other blog posts, I believe that compromise between President Obama’s economic plan, and Governor Romney’s economic plan, will be the most beneficial for the country.

The President’s plan to create new government jobs, by investing reconstructing America’s infrastructure, is a very fast acting process to put people back to work, but won’t last in the long-run because of the high national debt.  Whereas Governor Romney’s plan takes a different approach and relies on the private sector to expand, by paying them to train new workers, while reducing the federal workforce.  The Governor’s plan will work, as it supports a free market economy, but will take a very long time to implement.

Both plans, mixed with education reform necessary for economic success, have the possibilities of working.  But the President’s plan won’t last long, and the Governor’s plan can take years to be fully put into practice.  Therefore, I’m proposing a compromise.  I believe that, considering the state the country is currently in, President Obama’s plan should be carried out, up until Governor Romney’s plan can be fully implemented.